Ever since the school holidays started I could sense my iman level plummeting. It ain’t a nice feeling, kids. Maybe not everyone has experienced it, but if you just knew – if you just knew how it feels like to be aware that there is absolutely nothing between you and Allah, you would never want to leave.
That He created the beautiful ever-glowing sun that rises in the morning, beckoning you to see and do wonderful things as long as you are still alive. That He is the reason you are still breathing and alive and happy and have the potential to change the world. That you are enjoying delicious food and sweet beverages and lovely luxuries only because of Him, and that He can take away all of that any second. That He is the one who makes the rain fall, so that the water cycle can continue, and so that plants can live. That you can always count on Him when all hope is lost. That somebody who has Allah, has everything. That he created humans – created us, you and I – to praise Him and only Him. That is our purpose in life.
We should stop refreshing our Twitter feeds once in a while and wake up early in the morning and perform Tahajjud prayers. Read a few pages of the Qur’an and its translation. Go outside and embrace the fresh, dewy scent of dawn. See the birds start to wake up. Watch the sun rise. Indulge in the fact that this is Allah’s perfectly-created world.
Back in MRSM, I would hear Syakir perform the azan for Subuh every morning in the midst of bleariness. Hayya alas solah, hayya alal falah. Marilah sembahyang, marilah menuju kejayaan. I would perform jemaah prayers and then read the Qur’an for a bit, before breakfast and the morning call. During the morning call there’d be recitation of Asma’ul Husna and du’a for today to be a good day. Before every lesson, we’d read du’a penerang hati (my Sejarah teacher, Cikgu Fezali would insist on Surah Ash-Sharh too) and we’d end them with Tasbih Kafarah and Surah Al-Asr, and salam-ing the teacher. During rehat, quite a number of people perform solat dhuha. Not every day, but consistently. Once a week is good for a minimum amount, I think. After lunch, we would go to pray Zuhur so it’d be pretty hard to delay ’em. And at 6:30pm, Arissa’s voice would boom over the speakers, telling everyone to bathe and get ready for dinner and Maghrib prayers at the surau. So yeah, the event of napping until you miss Asar prayers is very unlikely to occur. And every night, we would perform Maghrib and Isyak jemaah prayers. It feels very peaceful to be in congregation with everyone. When you’re in jemaah you realise that nobody is better than anybody else, we are all equal and we are all Allah’s creations. Ever since Nabil became BADAR president, he would make sure that we’d listen to a tazkirah every night and perform solat sunat hajat. Usually, he would deliver the tazkirah. Even if some of the students make noise and don’t listen. It’s very inspiring, really. But seriously, everyone began to look forward to tazkirahs ever since he took over. He even won the really nakal Form 5 guys over. Because he is very sincere in his speech, and he doesn’t talk about cliche things that teachers drone on about very much. He explains about interesting things we don’t really know about – like bidadari and the dangers of alcohol and bala Allah and the signs that Judgement Day is coming near. We’re also encouraged to do qabliyah and ba’tiyah prayers (2-rakaat prayers before and after solat fardhu). Prep would begin and end with the recitation of du’a by Syakir over the PA system. On Fridays, when the boys would go to Jumaat prayers, the girls would gather in the surau for tazkirahs. Honestly, the Form 4’s haven’t really done an excellent job yet at this. (UPDATE: Memang lah, belum Form 5 lagi, hahaha) This includes me. The Form 5 girls are brilliant, though – particularly the ex-vice president of BADAR, Kak Hanim (classic!), Kak Husna, Kak Dada, Kak Nadia and others. This is when we talk about girl issues, of course. Once in a while, someone will burst into tears while talking. That’s how much they care about the welfare of others. On Saturday nights, us girls would read Surah Yasin in the bilik rek (bilik bacaan now, but nobody calls it that) and give short tazkirahs.
So yeah, the practise of ad-din (incorporating Islam in your everyday life) is very encouraged at the maktab. Which is why I feel so lost now, back at home where I don’t have a school system to force me to into a routine. I am temporarily comforted by the thought of going back to my maktab but what happens after that? What happens when I step into the real world? When I don’t have my parents or grandparents to remind me? What if I study overseas in a country where Islam is not dominant?
I must stay strong and have faith. Remember that the reason my heart still beats is to please Allah. How do I do that?
- Don’t delay prayers. Don’t delay prayers. Don’t delay prayers. Take wudhu’ the moment masuk waktu, or before if possible. Focus when praying and don’t let worldly thoughts conquer my head. Remember that you are communicating with your Creator, especially during sujud. Make du’a and recite Ayat Kursi after prayer.
- Read Al-Fatihah, Ayat Kursi, the three Qul, du’a for sleep, and Shahadah before going to bed. Set an alarm for Subuh. Start the day with being grateful that I woke up this morning. Don’t go back to sleep.
- Read the Qur’an. It brings tranquility to the heart.
- Don’t care what others think of me. In the end, it is between me and Allah, not me and them.
- Do zikr. Perform a lot of solat sunat. Donate to charity. Show kindness to others (what goes around comes around!). Mind my aurat. Smile. Give salam to strangers. Be nice to my siblings, tegur nicely, and encourage them to be soleh and solehah. Gain knowledge and put it to good use. Do things that will bring me closer to Allah and avoid time-wasting activities. Be productive and aim to use my talents in a way that Allah would love.
- Think, “What would Prophet Muhammad do?”. Remember that he is the best of mankind, and he should be my major role model, not anyone else.
- Iqra’. The first word from the Qur’an that was revealed to the Prophet. It means ‘read’. There are so many Islamic articles and books and magazines if I make the effort to find them. In English and Malay and whatever language I please. My personal favourite websites are ProductiveMuslim, Islam Reflection, I Luv Islam, The Beauty Of Islam. Follow pious people on Twitter. The range of knowledge of Islam is so, so vast. I would not be able to imagine.
- Watch less dramas and watch more TV Al-Hijrah. Listen to less rock music and replace them with zikir and nasyid. Leave comedians and artists on Youtube for religious lectures. Don’t just pay attention to fandom blogs but visit Islamic blogs just as much.
- Remember the terror of Jahannam, worse than any horrors of the Dunya, and the rewards of Jannah, better than any pleasures in this world.
I am an imperfect human being and this is a reminder to myself, and also to you, my dear fellow Muslims. Let us strive towards a better Ummah.